College football: Tide still working on nation’s No. 1 class
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Feb 03, 2014 | 2121 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama coach Nick Saban (Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama coach Nick Saban (Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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TUSCALOOSA — Barring some unforeseen situation, Alabama will finish with what analysts will rank as the nation’s top recruiting class for the 2014 cycle.

Unlike in past, the Crimson Tide’s class is pretty much intact, even with National Signing Day is two days away. Eight players began classes in January, and 18 others have committed to sign Wednesday.

The NCAA limit for FBS schools is 25 incoming players on scholarship, and even though the Crimson Tide has passed that limit, there’s no guarantee all 25 will be ready to begin class in the fall. So, Alabama isn’t finished adding to the list of recruits.

The 26th recruit is Georgia Military College standout Ty Flournoy-Smith, who announced Monday night on Twitter he has chosen the Crimson Tide. He played at Georgia in 2012, leaving school after being arrested for filing a false report of a crime. He allegedly sold text books he had reported as stolen.

Flournoy-Smith is rated as the No. 1 junior college tight end by 247Composite rankings.

The Crimson Tide is after a couple of the top uncommitted prospects, including one elite pass rusher and a dynamic wide receiver. In addition, Alabama is also still in the mix for a few of the nation’s top players that are committed, but still weighing their options.

A look at the major remaining targets for Alabama coach Nick Saban and his staff:

RASHAAN EVANS: A 6-foot-3, 217-pound five-star prospect, Evans racked up 17 sacks as defensive end during his senior season at Auburn High. He projects to be an edge rushing linebacker at the collegiate level. He is the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker, according to Rivals.com and 247Sports.

For Evans, it has come down to Alabama and Auburn. He is the second straight Auburn High prospect in the middle of a bidding war between the Tide and the Tigers, as linebacker Reuben Foster chose the Tide last season.

Evans’ father, Alan Evans, played running back for Auburn in the early 1980s.

The Auburn legacy and those close to them have kept things close to the vest with no one truly knowing where he will land.

He is expected to announce at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday whether he will go with the Tide, Auburn or UCLA.

MALACHI DUPRE: A consensus five-star wide receiver, Dupre is considered by many to be an immediate impact player.

At 6-foot-2, 187 pounds, Dupre ranks as the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver, according to Rivals.com and 247Sports. Dupre was sidelined by a hamstring injury near the end of his senior season, but finished with 34 receptions for 607 yards and six touchdowns.

Both Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin recently had an in-home visit with Dupree. He took an official visit to Tuscaloosa last month.

Dupre is scheduled to announce his decision Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Dupre is choosing from a list that includes Alabama, LSU, UCLA, Florida State and Ole Miss.

BRYSON ALLEN-WILLIAMS: A 6-1, 222-pound linebacker, Allen-Williams stared at Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove.

The four-star prospect is committed to South Carolina, but he recently said he intends to keep his options open.

After his official visit to Tuscaloosa last month, Allen-Williams told 247Sports he is still committed to the Gamecocks, but that Alabama gave him a lot to think about.

On Sunday, Allen-Williams tweeted a similar message.

“Off Twitter till Wednesday …. Need some time to think,” he said in a Twitter post.

He is considering Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia.
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